Bad Pictures – Big Heart

The sky is growing very dark.  It is a bit past noon on Friday.  The long weekend looms ahead of me.  I’ve got lists of arts events on my calendar, ones that I began skipping last night and will probably continue to skip through the weekend.  I have no idea why, apart from the fact that I feel so content…since the broken foot, the forced recovery period, the slower Max walks, the stopping and looking at birds, the filling of the bird feeder, the moving out of clutter.  The process has made me peaceful, but I’m not sleeping.

Today, Frank’s Flats looks like this.

Kath's Canon September 4, 2015 frank's 027Autumn is definitely moving in…my favourite season.  I even delight in the chill of the air, the kind that leaves your nose dripping.

I think the papa osprey is pushing his kids out of the nest. (I just learned recently that the female leaves the nest experience first, so it must be papa who has been teaching the kids to fish). This morning, one of the kids (female) was crying on this side of the highway, from atop a pole…no sibs at the nest as I passed by, on the other side of the highway….no sibs fishing the neighbour hood pond.  I think Dad’s saying, “Adios”.  Now what’s a kid to do?

It’s an unbelievable thing that this family will begin an epic migration and that the monogamous couple will reunite again, barring any tragic events.  This map illustrates known migration routes…so for those of you who grew weary of my amazement by these raptors this past season, know that these lives are miracles…one couple, three juveniles.  I can only wish them well.  It looks like they are heading for South America.

migration-paths Osprey I’ve learned the voice of the osprey amid the huge number of voices in this one landscape. This morning, I heard the sad vocalization by this little lady and grabbed a shot from a huge distance away just to record the moment.  I like that I turn my head at the sound of an osprey.   I like this little place in the world.  I was pleased to hear one of the youngster coyotes articulating this morning, although in the lush green of summer, they’ve managed to be very discreet and invisible.  While I have not been a professional archivist and photographer, I have intimately grown to love my time behind the lens.  If you wish to see some beautiful photos, likely of some of the same birds, look here.  I particularly love the captures of the Night Heron and the Great Blue Heron.

Kath's Canon September 4, 2015 frank's 024For the past two weeks I’ve been given many opportunities and moments to observe the Great Blue Herons and it seems that this would be every where I would go, even a siting while visiting my dear friend out in Chestermere.

I thought that I was in amaze-butts-ville because one lone heron was hanging out at Frank’s Flats, that is until two days ago.  I observed at least five in a marshland area that I could only catch from the highway.  I’d have to do a hike down into that space, probably next year.

The truly remarkable thing is that in a single day, I saw hawks soaring and learning to fly, ducks, mergansers and coots running on water for their experiments in flying (circling the pond at low level as though they were playing) and then seeing them take flight, fourteen pelicans, flashing white black white black in a triangle overhead…and then finally, observing the spectacle of two great blue herons, dodging one another in the wind, flying…weaving…playing…skimming water…reaching up…I’d never seen anything like it.  The camera just sat against my chest.  I love moments when, in today’s archive-focused-world, the camera is put on the shelf because the world ‘is your oyster’.

I’m going to post the crazy bad photo that I DID take…because I wanted to have an image that said, September 3, this happened. “Two great and fragile giants with huge wing spans were given to me to watch and enjoy.”

Kath's Canon September 2 Rumble and Franks September 3, 2015 105

September 3, 2015, I watched two herons in flight for approximately five minutes…dodging one another…staying in flight…a wonder!

It’s not that I know anything about totemic animals apart from the fact that a huge number of cultures listen to, speak to and are impacted by the creatures that share this planet with us…whether they fly or creep or roam or swim…but I do know that all of this and them, are grace…holy…

We have not taken very good care of any of this and these.

Whether in July, you notice and think about the Dragonflies that hover at your feet or in August you are looking at the Great Blue Herons, it all has a significance to your life, your heart and your mind.  Nature has taught me much these past two months and I am filled with gratitude for her lessons.  God is manifest and all is Holy.

Lawrence Hill Comes to the City of Calgary

Last weekend was intentionally scheduled around the One Book One Calgary event and the visit of the author, Lawrence Hill, to Calgary.  I was unable to attend his final talk on his most recent book, Blood: The Stuff of Life, but have caught up via the various pod casts available on line.  I hope that my readers will take the chance to listen/view these as I think they contain some real gems, especially for those who, like me, are in a determined search for their family connections.  I seem to be a descendent of a ‘powerful’ collection of people and through the toughest of times, no matter their story’s origin, they prevailed.

Lawrence Hill’s talks are not about slavery, but about the power of the human will and its forever-digging-out of the mire, in order to experience the light.  He also reminds us that in this contemporary world, slavery continues to exist, reminding us of the vast numbers of women and children who are used as slaves the world wide, for every sort of travesty including the sex trade.

I’m providing a link to the Massey Lectures and some of the resources here.

When I asked Lawrence Hill, at one of his book signings, if he might write the story of a character in my life, he delegated me that task instead, saying clearly…”This is your story to write.”  It was a quick but very ‘loaded’ conversation and I left the library that day feeling empowered somehow.

The weekend was a rich one filled with thought provoking lectures that turned out to be both entertaining and deeply moving.  The Calgary Public Library continues to provide programming developed around The Book of Negroes throughout the month of November.  I recommend that my readers look over the possible programs here.

P1140135 P1140138 P1140139Thank you to the Calgary Public Library for the amazing program that they offer and for the lovely opening reception in particular.  We are very fortunate here in Calgary.

Gorilla House LIVE ART: October 2, 2013

Cold wind. Grey skies. Zillions of sparrows eating their feathers full at the feeder…snow in the weather reports.  Dark cloud zooming from the west.  Yellow light of sun on the horizon, smothered in vertical bands of rain, racing this way. Spaghetti dinner with my cousin.  Watching the cat across the street tossing its prize again and again in the air.  Thinking about elephants…

I packed up my art stuff and headed down to paint.  A deck of Edward Gorey Fantod cards became the generator for the three concepts.

Echorche Urn Yellow BirdI had already decided to make some sort of observance of the fact that there is going to be a March to Save the Elephant on October 4…I wanted to have people at the Gorilla House, artists and audience combined…bring the plight of the elephant to the forefront…just for an evening.  So, in combination with the Yellow Bird image in Gorey’s cards…I proceeded to draw and paint.

“Whoever has seen these giants marching across the last free open spaces of the world knows that this is something that must not be lost.”
– Romain Gary, The Roots of Heaven

We are in a world that is agitating with loss…species...glaciers…my mother.  Concerning this, I am not an alarmist and I am not a pessimist.  In fact, I live in hope…but most certainly for things ‘not of this world’.

The three archetypes shared with Gorey DID generate some connections for me while I worked.  The Gorilla House concepts always do!  The Urn as a metaphor…a container for what remains and L’ecorche…humanity, exposed…at its core (the bad and good of it).  The Yellow Bird…my mother’s song…my father’s whistle…the bright hope, small but apparent.  I thought also of the canary in the cage…the small warning of a big catastrophe in the mines, the pits that we dig for ourselves.  (apologies for the scattered images of last evening…but I pulled it together and it became this)  Thank you to Taylor for purchasing this piece at auction and to Teri for wanting it.

P1130240 P1130243 P1130245

 

The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway

I opted to stay home this morning.  It feels like heaven to shuffle to the coffee maker…return to bed with a hot cup of coffee…the bedside lamp lit…and finish reading a book.  The Cellist of Sarajevo was a two-sitting read…a wonderful relief to some degree after the very dense book, Songs in Ordinary Times.

I had wanted to read this one for a long time and just recently found a copy in the second hand shop.  Based on a most devastating time in our history, in Sarajevo, this fiction brings us into the lives of ‘real’ characters and what they endure in the streets and torn ruins of a place that at one time seemed in ways, idyllic.

Art transcends the brutal hatred, insensitivity and dehumanizing conditions of war.  The cellist represents all that is beautiful about the human spirit.  I warn you that the following documentary is graphic…and captures images of the horror of greed and misguided belief.  I hope that you will watch it for its duration and never forget.

Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own. Carol Burnett

LOVE!

Moving into February, and given my attendance at the recent symposium on LIFE, I am focused on LOVE…on building HOPE…and on growing in FAITH.  I am setting my heart and mind on creating goodness…being kind….and generating positivity.  Join me, alright?
 
Iris: One of Forty in First Solo Exhibit